so, our gypsy summer is finally here. crisp fresh mornings which keep inspiring me to bake. as a result, the deli seems to be covered in ridiculously iced and cherried cakes. it's all very gingham. this little cake is perfectly light, not to eggy with a really bitter sweet icing, and the final pop of a creamy hazlenut (and ground hazlenuts in the mix, to make a really wet texture). it's pretty simple too. even Alice (my darling friend who prefers to be catered to) has taken up this wonderfully feminine art, so i think everyone should be baking this wet little number on sunday afternoon, whomever you are...
HAZLENUT AND ESPRESSO CAKE
110g softened butter
110g golden caster sugar
1 beaten egg
2 shots of espresso or the same amount of super strong cafetiere coffee
50g ground hazlenuts
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g self raising flour
100g icing sugar
some whole hazlenuts to decorate
preheat the oven to 170C. lightly butter a small loose bottomed cake tin that's about 18-20cm diameter.
beat together the butter and sugar using a good whisk. then add the beaten egg. this may look curled but don't worry, it'll all work out in the end.
add half of the strong coffee or espresso, the ground hazlenuts, baking powder and flour and throughly mix this all together. it's best to use a big slotted spoon. turn the cake mix out into the buttered cake tin and place in the oven for 40 minutes. then remove to cool.
meanwhile, make the icing by mixing the espresso bit by bit. it should be quite a thick icing, but spoonable. it always loosens more than you think.
when the cake is entirely cold, place it on the plate or stand you intend to serve it on. spread the icing right up to the edge of the cake and plop on the hazlenuts where ever makes you happy.
eat this cake with a nice pot of earl grey for tea, or with a cappuccino first thing. enjoy x